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Much of Apple's Mac computer lineup has been found in infringement of HTC's newly acquired intellectual property. This could lead to a ban on imports -- effectively a ban on sales -- in the U.S.  (Source: Cult of Mac)

Meanwhile, Apple has filed yet another ITC complaint against HTC, this time alleging that the new HTC Flyer tablet infringes on its intellectual property.  (Source: HTC)
Apple will have to pay up -- or negotiate a settlement

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has put Taiwan's HTC Corp. (SEO:066570) in a very bad spot.  The larger, more profitable gadget maker has hit HTC with a series of lawsuits worldwide, and recent scored a favorable preliminary ruling, which could lead to a complete ban on HTC handsets in the U.S.

But HTC appears to have some leverage, now.  In an unsealed ruling dating back to July 1, it has been declared that Apple infringed on intellectual property of recent HTC acquisition S3 Graphics.

The IP in question covers image compression techniques in software and hardware.  The U.S. International Trade Commission Judge James Gildea ruled that while Apple's popular iPad, iPhone, and iPod lines of mobile gadgets are not in violation of the IP, some of Apple's Mac OS X computers are.  

As NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) is a licensee, units with its GPUs are not in violation.  However, models with graphics by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) or integrated graphics from Intel Corp.'s (INTC) (such as the newly refreshed MacBook Air lineup) are in violation.

The ruling thus clears the way for a partial ban on the import of Macs.  As virtually all Macs are manufactured outside the U.S. (mostly in Asia), this would be a major blow to Apple's booming computer lineup, which posted in $17.5B USD computer sales last year.

The judge also ruled that two of S3's patents in the case were invalid, and that some of the minor claims within the two valid patents were invalid.

While the ruling was "unsealed" (made official), it has not yet been made available to the public as the companies are reportedly quibbling about what constitutes redaction-worthy confidential information in the document. Bloomberg reported on the release, based on early information.

The ruling now goes before a full six judge ITC panel for confirmation.

While a ruling which found Apple's iPad and iPhone -- which accounted for 46 percent of its revenues last year -- would have been even better, the victory gives HTC substantial leverage to broker a cross-licensing agreement, which could save HTC from a similar import ban on its smart phones.

Meanwhile, Apple filed two weeks ago, on July 15, a new ITC complaint against the HTC Flyer tablet, which it says infringes on several of its patents.  Of course, if the companies can come to terms, HTC's tablet lineup would, in theory, be covered under a cross-licensing agreement, as well.

If the S3 IP can save HTC from Apple's litigious wrath, that $300M USD acquisition, which was blasted by investors, could just turn out to be a great deal.

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RE: Gotta love it...
By nolisi on 7/27/2011 3:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
Then came the iPad (initially laughed at and dismissed) and it kept selling in greater and greater numbers and now the last bastion, the holy land of Windows, enterprise computing, seemed to be falling to Apple.

This is hilarious. In my own enterprise we have iPads- but the iPad is NOT an enterprise-ready product. Apple has no method for deploying enterprise specific applications to the device or properly managing them.

You don't just throw an iPad (or any other computer/OS) into the work place and say "it works in the enterprise". The enterprise space requires more than just a cool interface. Right now enterprises have to cobble together management, security, and deployment strategies for the iPad; in order to get the iPad to work in the business environment and comply fully with security/management needs, you need to use products from other vendors, such as Citrix Presentation layer or VDI. Apple has no plan for this. Android/Chrome isn't even ready for this.

Microsoft has these strategies in place, and they are configurable to accommodate the business needs of the environment.

The only reason the iPad is in the work place is because of trendy executives. I know this because I support dozens of these iPads, and I know what they're actually doing on a day to day basis. At best, the iPad can be awesome in small businesses, particularly point of sale, but even those people I know use Android combined with a credit card reader that works in an HTC audio jack to process POS credit card orders. I'm not 100% certain if they released the same for Apple.

But so far, no tablet maker is enterprise ready, and people are definitely not doing real work on an iPad, and if they are trying to respond to emails, they're doing it at a slower pace.

RE: Gotta love it...
By Tony Swash on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By Pirks on 7/27/2011 7:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
corporate IT hates iPads and iPhones
No, they don't hate, they just don't see all those rainbows and unicorns, know what I mean?

RE: Gotta love it...
By themaster08 on 7/28/2011 2:41:47 AM , Rating: 3
The invasion of the iOS devices into enterprise will often be by rebellion from below against corporate IT. Generally corporate IT is detested and usually with good reason.
And how in the hell is that a good thing?

So corporate IT hates iPads and iPhones. Good - sack the lot them. Your days are coming to a close.
Absolutely. PCs, completely wiped out by iPhones and iPads. You seriously should consider seeing a doctor. Do you realise how ridiculous that sounds?

The reason corporate I.T so so arcane is because companies refuse to invest in their I.T infrastucture, running 8-year-old PCs that are on their last legs, struggling to cope with the demands being set upon them, producing counter-productivity, whilst the senior management think it's a good idea to spend £500 on an iPad for themselves to read their emails and surf Facebook. All logic is thrown out the window.

The only reason iPads allow these people to be more productive is because their current PCs are so shit that they would be better used as biscuit tins.

RE: Gotta love it...
By Helbore on 7/28/2011 5:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
You haven't got a clue about the use of technology in business, have you? You sound like a typical ignorant end-user, who thinks they're entitled to think of their desktop as "theirs" rather than "a tool provided by the company."

Buy your own gadgets to play with at home if you want to feel empowered. You can use your corporate IT equipment in the manner you have been authorised to by the company, just as you would with any other piece of company-owned hardware, regardless of whether it is a PC or a fork-lift truck.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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